|1 John 2:1-6 |
1 This chapter of 1 John and the next three chapters have several references to three different groups of believers all translated in English to be "little children." John defines the three groups in this chapter's verses 12,13, and 14; so, based on examining the Greek word in each verse that references little children, we identify and state in the commentary which group John was addressing. The three groups are: 1) disciples that still sin without salvation, 2) sons of God that know the Father, and 3) sons of God that have overcome the devil and have grown strong with the Word of God (Jesus) living in them.
1 My little children, I write these things to you, so that you may not sin. But if any man does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. [The Greek in this verse for little children is an affectionate term of address for disciples, teknia <5040>; these little children are disciples yet to be freed from sin and without salvation.]
2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for the sins of the whole world. [Notice! John has said Christ is the atoning sacrifice not only for ours, (the early Christians), but he is the atoning sacrifice for the whole world. From the Word of the Lord within: "If one man's sin can curse the whole human race, then how much more just is it for one man's righteousness to pay for the sins of the whole world?" Sounds logical doesn't it? HE IS LOGICAL.]
3 And by this we know that we know him: if we keep [obey] his commands. [The commands we hear as He speaks to us from within our heart; that is the word of faith that the Apostles preached.]
4 He who says, "I know him," and does not keep his commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5 But whoever keeps his word [obeys the Lord's commands spoken to him], truly the love of God is perfected in him;1 by this we know that we are in him. [Anyone who claims to be in Christ when they are not crucified is taking His name in vain; or doing anything while stating you do it in His name or in the name of Jesus is also taking His name in vain.]
6 He who says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way that He walked. [We must be righteous as He is righteous, 1 John 3:7. We must be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect, Mat 5:48. We must be merciful as He is merciful, Luke 6:36. We must become pure as He is pure. 1 John 3:2-3. But as he who has called you is holy, so you be holy in all manner of conduct, 1 Pet 1:15. So that we walk as he walked, 1 John 2:6, and as he is, so are we in this present world. 1 John 4:17. There is no flexibility and no equivocation in any of these stated requirements.]
1 whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. Notice! Whoever keeps his word, (is obedient to commands, practices his teachings), the love of God is perfected in him. In this verse His word is not the Bible. The previous two verses reference keeping His commands, and this verse is a continuation of the same. The Greek for word in this (click to see) verse is logon which means: 1) of speech; 1a) a word, uttered by a living voice, embodies a conception or idea; 1b) what someone has said.
Persistent exposing yourself to hearing His commands with obedience to the commands you hear spoken to you, results in the love of God being perfected in you, which means you are then able to love your neighbor as yourself and able to obey the first and greatest commandment: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might." Mat 22:37. Paul tells us that anything we covet, (or desire), is idolatry; and no man can love God with all his heart until God rids his heart of all that he desires and values in the world. Whatever we desire, we worship. From the Word of the Lord within: "You must learn to hate everything you worship."
In Steven Crisp's wonderful sermon, The First and Greatest Commandment, he tells us that this commandment is written in the tablets of a man's heart.